By definition, funky can mean odd or quaint in appearance or feeling.
Though the Funky Cub doesn't really fit 'odd' or 'quaint', its stubby landing gear and oversized tail surfaces definitely give it a unique look. I think the name fits this plane well. Because it's not a scale plane, it falls into the sport category. This gave the designers at Seagull lots of room to create an airplane that has a look all its own.
The trim scheme resembles a new Carbon Cub, which adds to its 'cool factor'. A fiberglass cowl with dummy exposed cylinders and round wing tips are reminiscent of a J-3 Cub. The wing also sports a large set of flaps for extremely slow flight and Short Take-Offs and Landings (STOL) - these have all the makings of a Super Cub. One thing's for sure. All signs point to a Cub, and Seagull has mixed all these features into one FUNKY airplane!
The new Funky Cub has some really cool attributes, borrowed from scale aircraft, that should add up to make it a great flying plane. But enough of me rambling. Let's get the box open!
All Wood Construction
Covered in Silver and Yellow UltraCote (OraCover)
Pre-hinged Control Surfaces
Removable Wings for Easy Transport
Electric Conversion Parts Included
Oversized Wheels for Rough Terrain
Sport Plane Flight Characteristics
Battery Compartment is a Tight Fit for Large Hands
Price: $234.999 (Price at Review Publishing Date) Stock Number: SEA254Y Wingspan: 70.9" (1800mm) Wing Area: 793.9 in² (51.2 dm²) Weight: 8.5-9.5 lbs. (3.8-4.3 kg) Length: 50.4" (1280mm) Center of Gravity (CG): 3.46" (88mm) from the leading edge where wing meets the fuselage
5 Channel Radio (minimum), Receiver, and Receiver Battery
8 Standard Servos
.60 2-Stroke Glow Engine OR
15cc Gasoline Engine OR
.90 4-Stroke Glow Engine
2 - 18" Servo Wire Extensions
2 - 6" Servo Wire Extensions
1-3 - Y-Harnesses (Depending on how the model is set
Thread Locking Compound, CA, and Epoxy
Various Shop Tools
Gas/Glow field Accessories
The Funky Cub is the fourth airplane in my new series of pre-production samples from Seagull. As a result, it arrived in a plain brown box. Rest assured that by the time you read this review, the box will have a full-color label with all the specifications and recommended equipment listed. Most of the parts were either bagged and taped together or separated by cardboard inserts. I opened a few of the bags to inspect certain parts. Again, rest assured that the production planes will be bagged and taped for protection during shipping. All parts were accounted for, so I started taking a closer look at them.
I like the trim scheme - it resembles a new Carbon Cub, and the covering is UltraCote. Pre-applied decals are definitely a benefit. Personally, I don't have any problems applying decals, but it's not an easy task for some modelers! The windshield is part of a hatch at the front of the fuselage. It helps with battery changes (if you go with electric power), but I'd have liked to see the hatch be larger. The ailerons and flaps are pre-hinged, but the CA hinges need to be glued in place. Seagull has carried the color scheme over to the wing as well. The colored leading edge should help with orientation while flying.
The Funky Cub comes with parts for gas/glow power as well as electric. This has become a standard practice for Seagull, and I love it! The painted fiberglass cowl looks nice and has the exposed dummy cylinders are reminiscent of a J-3. I must also add that the paint matches the UltraCote covering perfectly!
I like that Seagull has assembled the servo hatch for us, leaving only the servo to be attached - one small word of warning, though, a longer than standard servo arm will make it easier to connect and set up push rods during assembly. I really like the fiberglass control horns that Seagull has been using - they are plenty strong and easy to install! As I stated earlier, the tail surfaces might be a bit over sized, lending to the 'funky' part of this plane's name-sake, but each of the surfaces are airfoiled and should help with flight performance.
Items Used for Completion
From the ground, I will be using my trusty Hitec Flash 7 transmitter. This 7-channel transmitter is very quickly becoming one of my favorite! It feels good in-hand, and the sticks and switches are where they should be. A very nice LCD display makes programming a breeze, and shows me telemetry readouts as well!
A Hitec Optima 9 will be installed in the Super Skybolt - I really like these receivers, as they give me lots of options for channels and servo configuration. I have come to like splitting my elevator servos into separate channels, as it gives me the opportunity to 'fine tune' my control surfaces.
Speaking of control surfaces, I will be using Hitec HS-485HB deluxe standard servos. These are great servos, and available at very reasonable prices. With a ball bearing on the output shaft and 83 oz-in of torque (@ 6.0 V) these servos are great for aircraft up to 12 pounds!
Inside the cowl, power will come from an E-flite Power 60 brushless outrunner motor - I've had this motor in my shop for a while now looking for a new home - the Funky Cub looked to be the right place for this motor.
Also from E-flite is the 60 Amp pro ESC with power switch. This ESC has been in a few of my different planes and has never let me down!
Rounding out the business end of my Funky Cub is a Falcon 18x8 electric Beech wood propeller. I have been running Falcon props on almost every airplane I have and they all perform very well!
Since I was assembling a pre-production sample, I didn't have the manual while assembling the Funky Cub. But, I did have a chance to talk with Seagull and help edit the manual you will see in the box. As a result, I'm going to have to say that this is one of the better manuals not completely written in the US - there are lots of illustrations, and the instructions can be well-understood! Any intermediate modeler will have no trouble reading through this manual.
Because I didn't have the manual when I started assembling the Funky Cub, I put the plane together in the order that I thought it worked best. With that said, I started with the wing.
The flap hinges are a pre-painted plastic, and need to be assembled. Though not included in the ARF, I added a small piece of silicone fuel tubing to each hinge - it may not be necessary, but I know they won't come apart! I taped the flap to the wing and attached each of the hinges using six small wood screws per hinge. With all the hinges in place, the tape was removed. The flap moved freely through its range of motion.
Three CA hinges were prepared and installed between the aileron and the wing. I like to stick a T-Pin through the center of the hinge to make sure that it's centered between the wing and aileron.
A few drops of thin CA secured each of the three hinges in place. The fiberglass aileron and flap control horns were installed using 5-minute epoxy. I test-fit the control horns prior to mixing the epoxy, so I knew they'd be easy to install. While the epoxy was curing, I attached four servos to their respective hatches (two for ailerons and two for flaps). Because of their Allen head and washer, I like using DuBro Servo Screws to keep all my servos in place. The long arm on my Hitec HS-485HB servo is not included with the servo, but having these will make pushrod setup and installation a lot easier in the following steps. They are available from Hitec (If you're using Hitec servos), and are definitely worth a few extra dollars!
An 18" servo extension wire was secured to the servo and pulled through the wing using the pre-installed pull string. I then installed the aileron servo hatch using the included wood screws. The process was then repeated for the flap servo hatch using a 6" servo extension.
The flap and aileron pushrods were then assembled, bent to the correct length, and the excess was removed. This is where the longer servo arms came in handy - the outermost hole on a standard servo arm is just barely accessible once the servo hatch is installed. These extra-long arms made pushrod installation a breeze!
After installing the remaining pushrods, the aluminum wing tube and wing roots were coated with epoxy and assembled to make a one-piece wing.
On to the tail! I started by attaching the wing to the fuselage and checking the fit of the horizontal stabilizer - it fit perfectly, so it was installed with some 15-minute epoxy.
I set the vertical stabilizer in place and traced the base of it onto the top of the stab. With these traced lines, I was able to carefully cut the covering and remove a section of covering and attach the vertical stabilizer with another batch of 15-minute epoxy. When the epoxy had cured, I installed the rudder using four CA hinges and thin CA.
The elevator halves were then installed using three CA hinges and thin CA per half.
There are only three servos installed in the fuselage for the electric powered version of the Funky Cub. The outer two servos are for the elevator halves and the center servo is for the rudder. I again used DuBro Servo Screws to install the three servos. The pushrods were assembled and readied for installation.
The three pushrods were inserted into their respective guide tubes at the tail end of the fuselage and connected to each control surface. The pushrods were then bent and cut to the correct length and connected to the elevator and rudder servos. The Hitec Optima 9 receiver was attached to the fuselage wall with a piece of adhesive-backed Velcro, and the dual antennas were mounted perpendicular to each other.
Motor and ESC Installation
Moving on to the nose, I started by marking and drilling the four mounting holes in the adjustable motor box's face. The E-flite Power 60 motor was then attached to the box. With the motor in place, I was able to determine that the face of the box needed to be set at the farthest forward position for the prop hub to clear the front of the cowl. The face was then secured in the correct position using epoxy, tri-stock, and a few more DuBro servo screws.
The E-flite 60 Amp Pro ESC was mounted inside the fuselage with another piece of adhesive-backed Velcro and a Zip Tie. I then connected the motor to the ESC, and installed the flight battery. The battery shown in this photo is a 6S 5000mAh LiPo, but I later determined that the plane balanced better and flew well with a 5S 4000mAh battery - we'll get to that in the flight report.
Landing Gear Installation
The wire landing gear was set into grooves in the bottom of the fuselage and secured with four nylon straps. A wheel collar was secured on each side of the wheel to complete the main landing gear installation.
I installed the tiller arm on the bottom of the rudder with a pair of wood screws before attaching the pre-assembled tailwheel bracket to the bottom of the fuselage. Two machine screws held the bracket in place, and I added a drop of blue thread locker to each machine screw. The steering springs were bent to the correct length and attached to the tiller arm and steerable tail wheel.
We're just about done! I attached the cowl using the 'cardstock and tape' method. This method has always worked well for me, and is fairly simple.
With the cowl in place, I installed the Falcon 16x8 electric prop and spinner. The Funky Cub had a red spinner in the box, but I decided to use a white one instead. The red spinner is fine and will work well, I just liked the look of the white against the yellow cowl.
I then attached the windshield to its frame/battery hatch, and installed the hatch. A pair of strong magnets held the hatch in place.
Reviewer's Note: I cut the large hole in the lower scoop of the cowl to aid in cooling, but it ended up looking pretty cool as well!
Though not included with the Funky Cub, I felt the need to add a 'load spreader' under the nylon wing bolts - the wood surrounding the bolt holes felt a little soft in my pre-production sample, and I wanted to make sure that the wing stayed attached to the plane when flying. I happened to have a small sheet of thin acrylic in my shop from another project, and it fit the bill perfectly.
The wing struts were the last item to install. Three small plastic connectors are screwed onto the threaded wire protruding from the strut ends and attached to the wing and fuselage with machine screws. This step took a little bit of adjustment to get the struts to fit correctly, but it was an easy task.
All that remained was to check the Funky Cub's Center of Gravity (CG). The recommended CG is located at 88mm (3.46") behind the leading edge of the wing. I found that it was easy to balance the plane using a 5S 4000mAh LiPo battery pack - I didn't have to add any weight or move anything internally!
We ended up with a nearly perfect day for the maiden flight. The afternoon temperature was hovering right around 70° F and there was a slight breeze coming right down the runway from the West. For a late-September day in Minnesota, we couldn't have asked for much better!
With the 5S LiPo tucked into the nose of the Funky Cub, I snapped the windshield/hatch back in place and put the plane on the ground. Because of the oversized wheels, we skipped the textile runway and headed straight for the grass strip! As the Funky Cub taxied out there, we were very pleased with the ground handling - the steerable tailwheel did a great job of directing the plane.
With her nose pointed into what little breeze we had, the throttle was advanced and the Funky Cub was rolling. About 30 feet later, she was airborne and climbing out quickly! The Power 60 motor, Falcon 16x8 prop, and 5S LiPo were a great combination and provided plenty of thrust for the Funky Cub!
After the first turn, the plane was plenty high to check the trims - three clicks of down elevator was all that the Funky Cub required for level flight. A couple more circuits around our field and we were enjoying this nice flying sport plane!
At full throttle, the Funky Cub will move along pretty well, but she's definitely not a pylon racer - After all, she's modeled after a Cub or two, or three?
Slow flight with the flaps up is easy. She'll float along nicely just under 1/4 throttle all day long, and we never really got a full-on stall out of her! We then dropped the flaps, and the Funky Cub slowed to a crawl - as in I think the plane would hover in a 10-12 MPH wind! The ailerons got a little sluggish when the flaps were dropped, but that was expected at such a slow airspeed.
By the time I had finished assembling the plane, I had finally gotten a manual. I set the control throws according to the instructions, and found that the low rates were a little on the slow side, but the high rates were perfect with about 40% Expo added. Because I'm using a Hitec transmitter, that's a negative 40% Expo.
We didn't do any aerobatics on the maiden flight, as we had several other plane we had to maiden in a short time. At the 7 minute mark on my Hitec Flash 7 transmitter's timer, we decided it was time to bring the Funky Cub in for a landing. It was only during the last few seconds before the main wheels touched did I realize just how large the prop was - or did I realize that the main landing gear is a little too short. At any rate, the landing was very uneventful and the Funky Cub glided in easily even with the flaps up!
After shooting photos and video of the rest of the maiden flights (we did 6 in two and a half hours), I put the Funky Cub back in the air to try out some aerobatics. As I stated earlier the low rates were too low, but the high rates were spot on. Basic aerobatic maneuvers were easy and looked very nice. The plane had plenty of power on tap to perform large loops and very tall stall turns. The stall turn was my favorite maneuver to perform with the Funky Cub!
Both of the maiden and aerobatic flights were done on the same battery - a total of 10 minutes of flight time pulled the 5S 4000mAh battery down to 20%, and that's right where I like to keep my discharged batteries!
Models Funky Cub 10-15cc ARF
It's time to wrap up my review on the Funky Cub. Assembly was straight forward (even without a manual) and the plane flies great. Drop the flaps and you can fly so slowly - I had the flaps set to drop 45° and that was PLENTY! If you're new to flying with and/or setting up flaps, I'd recommend starting with about 25-30° of downward deflection. When I first pulled the Funky Cub out of the box, I wasn't completely impressed by the plane. BUT, after flying it, I'm a happy reviewer - this is one great sport plane! So, if you're looking for a plane that looks a little different but flies very well, look no further than the Seagull Models Funky Cub!
One final thought. Seagull has a set of floats available for this plane as well - though I haven't tried them on the Funky Cub, I'll bet she flies great that way as well!
Distributed by: SIG Manufacturing
P.O. Box 520
401-7 South Front Street
Montezuma, IA 50171-0520 www.sigmfg.com
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.